I am having trouble functioning at the moment, feeling joy, feeling connected to anything, or wanting to be a part of this world. This disconnect can be traced back to early childhood, although I didn’t recognise it back then, it keeps re surfacing in my weakest moments. The problem is, when you feel weak, then your perception of the people around you, and of yourself, becomes distorted; or leaves you open to imagined or actual attack. I have a confession. I have been diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and over the years it has grown into a monster, which has severed my trust in friends, myself, colleagues, humanity and most of my family. I was taught to see the good in everyone, no matter how hard you had to look for it, but this has created a debilitating and confusing cognitive dissonance. Some people, some times, mean you harm. Most people, even family, don’t care about you, and that is not okay, and it goes against everything I was lead to believe as a child. I see disdain in people’s eyes, like I’m a repulsive creature that they want to jettison from the room, and in any state, because I am an introvert, most people tend not to acknowledge me in a group. Their eyes will flicker past me as if I’m not even there, even when I’m speaking, like I’m made of light which is somehow beyond their field of vision, and my words aren’t sticking to reality as much as everyone else around me. This has happened throughout my life. I am a quiet person, and never really learnt how to impose myself fully. I was taught to put others first. I wish I was born male, and although I’m disguised as a woman, something tells them I’m not quite right, and that is why I believe I am excluded and sometimes ostracised. I don’t know how to cope with a deliberately turned back, strategically positioned to block me from a conversation, or the old classic conversation sniper, hungry for attention, devouring words before I have a chance to spit them out. That one drama whore, who everyone else in the room adores, but hates me, and wants me to suffer silently, the scapegoat, locked inside an abusive battle of unspoken contempt, coated with niceties to fool the other people into thinking everything is okay, because the battle is only visible to the ostracised and the perpetrator. For the most part, I have been able to ignore it, to use my invisibility as a power to conjure people inside my head, to write them into existence. The writer gives life, and the reader, is made of better stuff than the flimsy world that the writer is used to, and they listen, they hear my voice, they see my words. I exist, but I resent having to live outside of writing. I’m so alone, and so broken. So lost.